Ash and his friends spotted Articuno flying through the night sky in Numero Uno Articuno, accompanied by a biplane. After meeting up with Noland, he explained that he had been cruising with Articuno the previous night. Max was impressed on how Noland caught such a powerful Pokémon, but Noland further explained that Articuno is wild, and a friend of his. Noland revealed that, on his biplane's maiden voyage, he was surprised to find an Articuno flying beside him. The Legendary bird had trouble flying due to an injured wing. The Factory Head managed to get the Pokémon to land on top of his plane and brought it down. Noland helped it to heal, and ever since then, Articuno had been regularly visiting him.
When Noland told Ash to select one of the Head's Pokémon to battle, Ash decided on Articuno. Noland asked it if it agreed to battle under his command, which it did. Soon after Ash's Charizard made a return from Charicific Valley to battle Articuno.
Noland battled Ash and Charizard with Articuno in The Symbol Life. Even though Charizard had a type advantage as well as learning the move Overheat prior to the battle, it still struggled against Articuno. Eventually, after a fierce battle, Charizard defeated Articuno with a devastating Seismic Toss, earning Ash the Knowledge Symbol.
Despite not being caught by Noland, Articuno formed a friendship with him after Noland treated its injured wing. As a result, it returned every now and then for a visit. It was close enough to Noland that it agreed to battle under his command, followed his commands in battle without hesitation, and trusted Noland's strategy.
A † shows that the move was used recently, unless all moves fit this case or there are fewer than five known moves.
In the games
Although Noland always uses random Pokémon when battled in Pokémon Emerald, Articuno is one of the possible rental Pokémon he can use. Like with the other rental Pokémon at the Battle Factory, its held item and moveset may vary, but it will always be set at level 100.
Noland's Articuno appeared in Off To The Battle Frontier!!. Ash battled it using his Charizard during his challenge with Noland. During the battle, Articuno managed to do fairly well against Charizard, despite the type-disadvantage, but lost after a long battle.